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The Explore New Zealand Programme (Explore) is set to get bigger and better in 2013 with the well-known discount programme for accredited international travel agents and travel media moving online.
With the last hard copy Explore book being retired on 31 December, the ability to access and upload discounts online is hoped to encourage more operators to engage with the programme.
And it will be easy. With full integration into the Operator Database, www.register.newzealand.com, operators will be able to list products to be added to the programme alongside their business listing details that are drawn through to newzeland.com and the travel trade sites.
Moving the programme online will also allow new operators to join the programme and for all operators to submit offers at any time. The list of discounts will be available for international travel agents and media accredited to the programme to access and download from the Trade website.
Each year Explore is used by around 500 agents and media while travelling independently through New Zealand. Typical discount offers are 50 per cent off or two-for-one offers for the cardholder and their partner.
The programme is designed to complement Tourism New Zealand's familiarisation trips coordinated with operators and the wider industry. It enables agents and media visiting on holiday to partake in a wider range of New Zealand products and experiences while they are here.
For travel agents, they are more likely to go home and sell the product once they've experienced it. For media, as they have already been pre-qualified by TNZ and commissioned to write a story, operators will benefit from inclusion in online and print articles, for example the BBC journalist, Phillip Norton's blog.
To participate in the Explore Programme, operators must have a business listing on www.newzealand.com and the travel sellers site www.traveltrade.newzealand.com - and can register on the Operator Database at www.register.newzealand.com.
Explore Programme discounts for the 2013 programme can be submitted from mid-October.